The Cross Rivers State Government has revealed plans to spend a total of N800m in reducing flood havoc on the state.
Mr John Inaku, the Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, says the agency is spending N800 million to address issues of flood in the state during the year.
Inaku made the disclosure s to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday.
He said that the government set aside the amount, following the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s prediction of possible flooding in 11 states, including Cross River, during the year.
NAN recalls that NIMET had predicted that there would be flood in Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara states.
“We have bought mattresses and toiletries; provisions have been made for foodstuff and other necessities of comfort.
“We know that if measures are not taken to address the situation, the effect of the flood will be very devastating and will cost the state so much,’’ Inaku said.
He said part of the amount would be spent on building a permanent camp for flood victims in the state.
The director-general said that an estimated 216,000 people would be severely affected by flood in 10 local government areas of the state if the flood occurred as predicted.
He listed the local government areas as Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Odukpani, Biase, Obubra, Ikom, Abi, Etung, Bakassi and Yala.
He said that five persons had died while property worth millions of naira had been lost to flood in the state between January and August.
“Following NIMET’s prediction, the state government has earmarked about N800 million to intensify the fight against flooding in the state.
“This money will be used to build a permanent camp for 216,000 people that are likely to be severely affected by the flood.
“We have identified where the camp would be erected. The governor has given directives to the Ministry of Lands and Survey to partner with us in this direction.
“Part of the amount will also be used to hire boats to move some people in the riverine areas to safer places and provide water and healthcare for them.
“Yam farms in some communities have been washed away by flood. We also need to relocate these farmers to a permanent site,” Inaku said.
He said that the agency had sustained its awareness campaign on the need for people to stop building houses along the waterways and take other measures to prevent flooding.